By John Benton
TERRE HAUTE — With an eye on the 2008 season, a number of local men’s slowpitch teams are revamping their rosters. As per usual, teams are dropping and adding players in an effort to improve for the upcoming season.
Making great strides to improve is the DeHart Rental team. After a successful 2007 season, team sponsor and player Ryan DeHart has added several players to the team. Noteworthy is the addition of Jerry Williams, a legendary Indianapolis-area slugger. Other notable additions will be Marcus Palmer (formerly of Chico’s) and several former Webster’s/Rookies veterans.
Local players scheduled to play for DeHart’s in 2008 are as follows: Josh Hall, Jeff Biggs, Jason Payton, Ryan DeHart, Chris DeHart, Scott Moore and Darrin Chaney.
DeHart Rentals hopes to showcase its 2008 team this weekend in a round-robin tourney at the Indianapolis Midwest softball facility. Several of central Indiana’s best teams are scheduled to participate.
Other local teams hoping to tweak their rosters for the 2008 season are Clabber Girl, Matco OutKasts and Terre Haute Prescription Shop. Each has recently participated in Avon round-robin tournaments in an attempt to solidify 2008 lineups. After disappointing 2007 Amateur Softball Association state-tournament showings, each of the previously mentioned teams has won or finished well in the round-robin affairs.
Both Terre Haute Prescription Shop and Clabber Girl are scheduled to participate in the 2007 Avon Tournament of Champions this weekend. The 11-team, double-elimination tourney features teams winning tourney titles at the Avon facility throughout the 2007 season.
• Other news — Another name familiar to local softballers is the Chop Shop coed team. After finishing second in the ASA Coed Novice state tournament, the Chop Shop team returned to the local softball scene and garnered the first annual Rock ‘n Jock coed tourney crown.
The Chop Shop team overcame an early defeat to Joe Hoops to grab the tourney title. Scores and opponents for the tourney were unavailable at press time.
Coed teams hoping to test the tourney waters will have several opportunities during early October. Interested teams can contact the following tourney organizers for coed tourney information: the Popcorn Festival, Oct. 5-6 at Brazil, contact Deborah Plummer at (812) 442-6761; the Chop Shop Invitational, Oct. 12-13 at Brazil, contact Angie Robins-King at (812) 208-0251.
• Oops — A correction and apology are in order. In last week’s column I erroneously credited Maple Avenue United Methodist with a second-place finish in the Terre Haute Church League coed red division. The correct second-place finisher was Maplewood Christian Church. Sorry for the mistake.
• Odds and ends — Congratulations to Lance Walsh on his two circuit blasts in a recent Brazil league game. A longtime official for local league play, Lance has earned a little ink for his hitting prowess.
A local player has recently returned to the diamond following knee surgery. Ryan Carter has made a quick recovery from ACL surgery and is scheduled to play for Clabber Girl in upcoming tournaments. Way to go, Ryan.
The final Softball Scene column will appear sometime in late October.
John Benton can be reached at (812) 877-2566.